Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Historic Southland viaducts saved in funding deal

Four giant timber viaducts built nearly a century ago in the rugged Waitutu Forest on the south coast of the Fiordland National Park are to be restored in an agreement between the Department of Conservation, the Southland District Council and the Port Craig Viaduct Trust, Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith announced today.

“We need to restore and protect these massive viaducts as a tribute to the incredible engineering feats of our pioneering ancestors. They are a spectacular feature of the Hump Ridge Track along the south coast of Fiordland that generations of New Zealanders and international visitors must continue to be able to enjoy,” Dr Smith says.

The four viaducts were built in the early 1920s as part of a timber tramline to the Port Craig logging and sawmill operation. The sawmills were dismantled after the Great Depression. In the 1990s the viaducts became part of the Hump Ridge Track. The largest viaduct, the Percy Burn, which is the highest timber trestle bridge in the Southern Hemisphere, had to be closed in May last year because of safety concerns with the decay and corrosion of the key structural elements. The four viaducts have Category 1 Historic Places Trust registration and are listed as one of New Zealand’s top 50 engineering structures.

“It is a huge credit to the Southland District Council, the Port Craig Viaduct Trust and the local managers of the Department of Conservation that an agreement has been reached on restoration of the viaducts and their long-term maintenance.

“These funding problems are difficult to resolve because no one organisation has responsibility and parties could argue for years over who should fund what. I admire the typical southern pragmatism that has delivered this long-term funding partnership where costs will be shared one third each between the Government, the council and community.

“The current work required to repair and restore the viaducts is expected to cost $480,000. My Department has committed its $160,000 share for the next financial year of 2014/15.

“This agreement is particularly good for the Tuatapere Hump Track Charitable Trust and Southland tourism, as the option of rerouting the track around the viaducts would take away some of the ‘wow’ factor of the Hump Ridge Track experience.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Wellington.Scoop: Serco – First The Prisons, And Now It Wants To Run The Trains

As the government continues its inquiry into Serco’s discredited administration of Mt Eden prison in Auckland, here in Wellington there’s further scrutiny of the British outsourcing company – because it’s competing to take over the running of our commuter trains. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Countdown, And Mary Margaret O’Hara

To date, the Key government has been unwilling to share any information about this TPP deal until it is too late for outraged public opinion to affect the outcome... the disclosure process is likely to consist of a similarly skewed and careful exercise in spin. More>>


Australia Deportations: English Relaxed On Immigration Centre Conditions

Labour's Annette King: “There have been numerous reports from inside these detention centres on just how bad conditions are... If they were being held in any other foreign jail, I imagine Mr English would be somewhat concerned. More>>


Schools: Achievement-Based Funding Would Be A Disaster

The Education Minister’s speech to the PPTA Conference raising the spectre of achievement data driving a new funding system would be disastrous, says NZEI Te Riu Roa. More>>

  • Video Out-Link - PPTA Annual Conference 2015 on Livestream (Q+A dicussion suggests funding would be directed to less successful schools.)

  • ALSO:

    ECE Report:

    Key In NY: Prime Minister Addresses United Nations

    Prime Minister John Key has addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York, focusing on a call for action in Syria and on other conflicts, reform of the veto process and on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. More>>.


    Gordon Campbell: On The Lack Of Accountability Over Philip Smith

    In New Zealand, accountability is an exotic creature rarely glimpsed at ministerial level, or among senior management. The flight to Rio by the paedophile /murderer Philip John Smith/Traynor is no exception. More>>


    More On Corrections

    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news